Mavericks Current Depth Chart

21 07 2013

bernard blocking ellis

With the recent re-signing of second-year center Bernard James after he cleared waivers, the Dallas Mavericks now have 13 of their 15 roster spots filled. Here’s where things currently stand:

 

PG — Jose Calderon, Gal Mekel, Shane Larkin

SG — Monta Ellis, Vince Carter, Wayne Ellington, Ricky Ledo

SF — Shawn Marion, Jae Crowder

PF — Dirk Nowitzki, Brandan Wright (pending)

C — Samuel Dalembert, Bernard James

 

Possibilities for the last two roster spots: Devin Harris (very likely), Leandro Barbosa, Greg Oden, D.J. Stephens, Drew Gooden, Tyrus Thomas, Jackie Carmichael, Ivan Johnson, Josh Akognon

 

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Mavs Finally Make A Move—Get Pure Point Guard

5 07 2013

They didn’t get Dwight. But the franchise got another foreign point guard with the first name Jose that is a fierce playmaker.

Calderon-MavsAfter attempting to bring him to town via trade last season, the Dallas Mavericks will sign Jose Calderon to a four year, $29 million contract, accoring to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Once free agents can officially be signed on July 10, there will be a clearer picture as to the structure of his contract. (Some are questioning the duration of this contract for a soon-to-be 32 year old; however, due to the new CBA’s stretch provision, it’s not as bad as it sounds.)

Other than Chris Paul, who decided to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, Calderon was the purest point guard available from the free agent market this offseason. The Spaniard has always been a great distributor and shooter while also being very efficient with the ball.

After being traded to the Detroit Pistons last season, Calderon put up fantastic numbers for a point guard—11.6 ppg, 6.6 apg, 52.7 FG%, 52.0 3P% and 89.3 FT%. And including his time with the Toronto Raptors, he led the League in 3-point field goal percentage (46.1%).

His most interest statistic, though, has to be his consistently high assist-to-turnover ratio. He ranked second in the NBA in 2010-11 (4.09), first in 2011-12 (4.50) and second in 2012-13 (4.11). Superstar CP3 has been the only player in the League with a better ratio the past three seasons. He may not be a flashy, high-rising, do-it-all guard that will light up the highlight reel…but he is certainly a great fit for a Mavericks’ team that had a tendency last year to allow turnovers to ruin games and turn many into blowouts. Dallas is getting a smart player that will work with Rick Carlisle to quickly learn his coaching methods and style of play.

Furthermore, this will make life much easier on Dirk Nowitzki as he now has a ball handler that won’t take long to understand who should be putting up the most shots (something last year’s squad just couldn’t figure out…yes, I’m looking at you Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo). Even though he won’t impress you with his athleticism, the guy knows how to be a floor general (see below).

Dirk works best with a guard that will take control of the offense and drive the team forward…there honestly isn’t a better free agency move for Dirk’s offense.
Calderon also gives rookie Shane Larkin a well-rounded mentor to learn the game from. They can both run the pick-and-roll with a center to be named along with the pick-and-pop with the Big German. Calderon is the first true vocal leader for the Mavs since Tyson Chandler was on the team; he will be ready to step in and work to win.

Dallas has had a good track record of bringing in point guards with high basketball IQs to run their offense. Steve Nash. Jason Kidd. He might not be as famous of a name but Calderon can be added to this list. Along with finding much more scoring (Vince Carter is currently the team’s second best offensive option), the next step for the Mavs is to get a rim protector to anchor this defense, especially with the signing of Calderon. Even though he has almost every skill you want from a point guard on the offensive end of the floor, Calderon lacks any sort of presence defensively, similar to the heavily-criticized Nash. Bringing in Andrew Bynum is a probable scenario, instead of Dwight Howard….

While being stuck in the middle of nothing and nowhere these past two seasons, Mark Cuban has played the waiting game for “big fish” to come to town as a No. 1 option for years to come. He has been working to clear enough cap space to sign a major player to a max contract to give these past few years a happy ending. Well, he missed on Deron Williams, he missed on Paul and he has now missed out on Howard. This move should remind you that Cuban is a good basketball businessman and does know how to make good signings—like making Calderon the point guard to build a team around.

I’m not excusing Cuban for swinging and whiffing on Howard after setting up a system in which he destroyed a championship team, decided to be bad (based on Mavs’ standards) and cleared space to bring a celebrity in…we can all agree it has failed. Real, alive people on a roster as assets have now shown to be much more valuable than simply cap space and more cap space…that’s a discussion for another time.

Right now, it’s time to move onward with “Plan B.” The other two Texas’ teams are clearly superior compared to anything going on in the Big D. Time to do some work, Mark.

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Spurs Make Last-Second Playoff Pick-Up

16 04 2013

T-Mac is back.

After playing almost the entire 2012-2013 NBA season in China, free agent Tracy McGrady will get a chance to play in the NBA yet again.

The San Antonio Spurs have decided to add the seven-time All-Star to the roster for their playoff run that begins this weekend. This is in large part due to the release of Stephen Jackson along with Boris Diaw‘s surgery that will likely keep him out the rest of the season.

While playing in China, the 33-year-old has given reason for the NBA to believe he can still compete at this level. McGrady averaged 25 points and shot 56 percent from the field while playing for Qingdao in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Since he was not on an NBA roster prior to March 1, McGrady is eligible to play right away for the Spurs.

There is not a player currently out there that is more fitting to tack on at the very last second. The 15-year veteran (emphasis on 15) played in this league for a long time and played at a high level. The man knows how to put the ball in the bucket. Now, even though he might not have the freak athleticism that allowed him to get to the rim at will like in his younger days (see Shawn Bradley picture above), McGrady still has exceptional passing skills that could not be more welcome to his new team. He is a natural player of the game and will pick up on the Spurs system faster than many think.

It also should be noted that T-Mac has been humbled by playing an entire season outside of America. Just like his cousin Vince Carter has come to understand with the Dallas Mavericks, there comes a point when superstars must take on smaller, veteran roles. That’s why Allen Iverson is still out of the league. I have no doubt that McGrady will be ready and excited to play five minutes, 25 minutes or with the practice squad while in San Antonio.

I may be a Mavs fan, and I may consequently not like the Spurs. Yet, I can’t help but think this is a great move that will turn out to be a success for both parties. The Spurs needed a veteran wing player that could come in right away and have an impact. McGrady fits that bill.

 

 

The most interesting part of this signing may not be about the signing itself.

Even though McGrady is tenth in total points among active players and will be considered for the Hall of Fame, the one knock against the man is his inability to get out of the first round. Out of the eight playoff series he played in during his 15 NBA seasons, he never moved on to the second round. What makes it even weirder is that he has put up great playoff numbers. During his six playoff runs with the Magic and Rockets when he was the focal point of the offense, McGrady averaged 42.8 minutes, 29.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists. But for some reason, he couldn’t string together four playoff wins during any given year.

(Ironically, when he was injured in 2008-2009 and unable to play in the postseason, his team advanced and was one game away from the Western Conference Finals.)

Joining the 2nd-seeded Spurs gives T-Mac a very good chance to finally erase this unusual statistic. During the past 12 seasons, the Spurs have gone to the playoffs 12 times and failed to reach the second round only twice. As long as his new team can get Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker healed and ready to suit up for playoff basketball, the T-Mac curse could become no more.

To add to this oddity, McGrady’s Spurs will soon be facing a Houston Rockets franchise that he was the face of for six years, including three one-and-done playoff years. He will get the chance to avenge all those heartbreaking seasons in which he was ridiculed for not being able to take his team to the next level.

The Spurs-Rockets matchup now might not be the least interesting West series. Thunder-Lakers (I’m calling it). Nuggets-Warriors. Clippers-Grizzlies. All of those series are going to have some great basketball being played. A wrench has now been thrown in the 2-seed vs. 7-seed series that will bring in some extra viewers. A talented wrench.

No matter how effective he turns out to be, I’m glad that McGrady is getting another chance to prove his worth in the NBA. I watched him during his prime and was simply in awe at the combination of athleticism and intelligence he brought to the court every night. He is older but he is still T-Mac.

“Whatever happens, I’m just glad to be a part of this environment,” McGrady texted ESPN.com. “[It’s] something I never experienced while being my best!”

Hopefully this environment will allow him to experience something else that is new – a playoff series win.

We will all know soon enough.

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Timmy, Meet Vince

28 01 2012

Whether in college or as a pro, Vince Carter knew how to put on a show, and he gave Tim Duncan a front row seat… twice.

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Carter Comments

30 12 2011

 

Carter on his role as the main scoring option shifting: “It’s not about that type of stuff now.”

 

Carter on what it’s all about now: “I’m trying to play for a championship on a team that’s hungry to win another championship.”

 

Carter on what he’s looking for with the Mavs: “It’s just all about winning right now. That’s what I’m here for, I’m here to win.”

 

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Vince Up Close

21 12 2011

Even though Carter is towards the end of his career and has a few more pounds than when he was in his prime, it’s good to hear how excited he is to be in Dallas.

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Picture Perfect

1 12 2011

This has to be one of (if not the) best dunking pictures I’ve ever seen before from the NBA. Vintage Vince truly made the art of dunking look so easy.

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